With cold weather upon us, the furnace has been steadily running on high, and you’re no doubt dreading that electric bill that’s sure to have skyrocketed. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Before you spend the rest of the winter watching your hard-earned dollars fly out the window, consider a space heater. These little devices are great for adding a little bit of extra warmth to rooms and make for an economical way to get toasty without having to crank up your central heating. Though they aren’t meant to be a replacement for your main heating source in the dead of winter, when used smartly, the best space heaters can prove to be an extremely energy-efficient heating solution to drafty chills.
Can space heaters save you money?
Space heaters can warm up a room or a space quickly and efficiently. If you only want to heat up the room you’re in, for instance, running a space heater will be a much cheaper option than turning on the heating for the whole house. A lot of newer space heaters are energy-efficient too, meaning they require even less electricity to work than regular models. That means you’ll not only be saving your hard-earned dollars, you’ll be lessening your burden on the environment, too.
Are space heaters safe?
Safety has historically been a major concern when it comes to space heaters. Electrical failures or malfunctions were the second leading cause of US home fires between the years of 2012 and 2016, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Luckily, newer space heater models feature thermostat and timer functions to ensure they never overheat. Most even have an automatic shut-down mode that will activate if they’re lifted off the ground or tipped over to prevent accidents.
- Never use an extension cord or a power strip with an electric heater and don’t plug other devices or strips into the same outlet.
- Place space heaters on a hard, flat surface for use.
- Establish a 3-foot kid- and pet-free zone.
- Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from combustible or flammable materials (i.e. furniture, curtains, and bedding).
- Turn off space heaters while you’re sleeping.
- Unplug space heaters when not in use.
Now that you know how to stay safe while using a space heater, you’ll find all the most effective, cost-efficient, and stylish space heaters around in our handy list. Keep scrolling for FIRST for Women’s picks for the best space heaters on the market.
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Best Rated Spaced Heater
Lasko Air Logic Bladeless Heater
Where to buy: $89.24 (Originally $199.99), Amazon
People are falling all over themselves to buy the stylish Lasko Air Logic space heater for multiple reasons: It has digital touch controls, an eight-hour timer, a remote control, an automatic thermostat, a tip-over safety switch, a sleek design... need we go on?
One of its 200+ reviews reads, “I’ve never used a space heater before, and this blew my mind. … It’s very intuitive and easy to use. ... It [has] a remote control as well, if you want to operate it from your bed. It heats the room SO QUICKLY! It’s ridiculously amazing! It makes your room go from 52 to 80 in less than 10 mins. It’s not too loud either, and you can set a timer on it for when you go to sleep.”
Best Space Heater for Large Rooms
Dr Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater
Where to buy: $109.99, Amazon
Although this may look like a time machine, it's actually an infrared space heater that’s able to heat up large rooms of up to 1000 square feet. Dual heating systems, a shut-off timer, a remote control, and a low-noise blower are just some of the perks of this awesome little 1500-watt heater. It also comes on wheels, making it super-easy to transport.
“I really love this heater,” one satisfied purchaser wrote. “The infrared heating element works the best and the blower circulates the warm air very well, even in a space as large as my living room and kitchen. It maintains the ambient temperature I set within a couple of degrees. I love that the wood casing stays cool to the touch.”
Best Ambient Space Heater
Duraflame Electric Infrared Quartz Fireplace Stove
Where to buy: $175.99, Amazon
This heater not only efficiently heats up rooms of up to 1000 square feet, its design and 3D flame effect make it look like a real-life, old-worldly log heater, adding style, coziness, and a soothing ambience to any home. In addition, the Duraflame electric infrared fireplace stove heater’s infrared quartz properties help maintain the natural humidity in the air without drying out the atmosphere of the room.
“Love it,” one happy customer gushed in a review. “It heats the space quickly. The ambient light provided by the logs and simulated flames is more realistic than many heaters, and the side windows add to the charm.”
Best Oscillating Space Heater
Lasko Electric Oscillating Ceramic Tower
Where to buy: $36.35, Walmart
The oscillating feature of this Lasko electric ceramic tower space heater make it a winner in our books. At the push of a button, 1500 watts of comforting warmth can be distributed throughout any room easily and effectively, saving you from having to move the device around to spread the heat around.
“Exceeds my expectations,” wrote one Walmart reviewer. “Small, lightweight, [and] easy to move around my large bathroom. This room is always cold and if I turn up the heat, the rest of the house gets hot. I turn it up on high, and in minutes the bathroom is warm and toasty ... The oscillating feature spreads the warmth all over the room… I am completely satisfied.”
Best Cheap Space Heater
AmazonBasics Personal Mini Heater
Where to buy: $15.45 (Originally $18.99), Amazon
This personal little space heater from AmazonBasics can fit in the palm of your hand, but don’t let its itty-bitty size fool you — this thing’s got some muscle. 500 watts of it, in fact! Perfect for smaller spaces, this miniature find will keep you warm when you need it most.
“I keep one in my bathroom and the other one in my home office,” one reviewer explains. “Before I get ready to shower, I turn the heater on and close the door and it heats up so good! I recommend this heater to anyone who likes to have a warm and toasty bathroom and warm office or small space.”
Most Stylish Space Heater
Lasko Designer Series
Where to buy: $46.46, Home Depot
For a space heater that looks more like a piece of art than an electrical appliance, try the Lasko Designer Series ceramic heater. It has an oscillation feature, which helps distribute heat around the room, a built-in timer, and a handy remote control to operate it all.
“I LOVE this little heater,” read a five-star review from one especially pleased customer. “It works great and doesn't show any signs of stopping. [It has] an attractive design that has most of my guests asking, ‘What is that?’"
Another reviewer wrote, “The design is great for anyone that doesn't want a big clunky heater messing up their decor. Very attractive, and very happy with it. Definitely recommending.”
Best 360 Degree Space Heater
Where to buy: $36.22 (Originally $39.97), Walmart
The Honeywell Surround heater has a unique 360-degree heat output, meaning that it can heat up all corners of a room simultaneously, saving energy — and money! — in the process. In addition to this fabulous feature, it has tip-over shut-off, overheat protection, and cool-touch housing.
“My first impression was, ‘It's kind of small; how much heat could it possibly generate?’” one happy buyer recounted. “I was really surprised when I turned it on. The forced hot air heated up very fast, and the 360 surround heater allowed the area to warm up evenly."
Best Space Heater and Fan Combo
Mainstays 2-in-1 Portable Heater Fan
Where to buy: $20.85 (Originally $39.99), Walmart
The weeks just before or after extremely cold or hot months can be tricky to navigate when it comes to temperature, since the mornings and evenings can be rather chilly, while the middle of the day can leave you sweating. Mainstays' 2-in-1 portable heater/fan is the ideal solution, as it switches from heater to fan at the push of a button.
“I have not heard of one of these before,” we read in one of many positive reviews. “I was very surprised that it could go from hot to cold and back again from cold to hot with a flip of the switch ... The high cool setting puts out a lot of cool air without all the noise that you normally get with a fan. … The heat setting is [also] extremely quiet. I like how it fans the warmth, so you feel it in the room right away. Even the high heat is almost silent.”
Best Space Heater for the Office
Honeywell UberHeat Ceramic
Where to buy: $39.99, Amazon
This chic little heater is superb at heating up smaller spaces, such as your office, where you can keep it working on or under your desk, in the bathroom, or your bedroom. Additionally, with overheat and tip-over shut-off protection, cool-touch plastic housing, and non-slip rubber feet, the Honeywell UberHeat Ceramic Heater is one of the safest personal heaters we found.
One review reads, “When it first arrived, it seemed like it was way too small to heat up a room, [but] this small heater really surprised me by heating my condo up just enough for me to keep the house heater turned off! It's a space-saver for sure, but does the job quite well.”
Best Quiet Space Heater
DeLonghi Slim Style Digital Convection Panel Heater
Where to buy: $111.50 (Originally $119.99), Amazon
DeLonghi's sleek digital convection panel heater was made to heat up big spaces without causing a ruckus. Its dual fan system provides instant heat that you can customize with an adjustable thermostat and three different heat settings. You also have the convenient option of mounting it on the wall, so it’s discreetly out of the way.
“Impressive,” wrote one reviewer. “Heats our 350-square-foot third floor with no other supplemental heating source. [One] hour from turning this thing on, the space went from 58 degrees to 67 degrees, and in two hours, it was 75 degrees — in February! Amazing. And, unless you turn the fan on, there is absolutely NO noise. It's silent. And does a fabulous job.”
Best Space Heater for Allergies
Dyson HP01 Pure Hot + Cool
Where to buy: $399.99 (Originally $499.99), Best Buy
Though the price of this item might seem high for a space heater, this is no ordinary warming machine. Dyson's Pure Hot + Cool HP01 is a heater, a fan, and an air purifier, all rolled into one attractive package. Not only will its powerful jets of air heat and cool any room in minimal time, its 360-degree glass HEPA filter will capture even the finest of particles from the air, removing 99.97 percent of allergens and pollutants. Controlled by a magnetized remote control which can be stored on the machine itself, this is our favorite item on the list.